Personal Income Tax -> Who pays tax in Canada
Who Pays Tax in Canada, and on What Income?
A person who is a resident of Canada is subject to Canadian income tax on their world wide income.
Whether or not a person is a resident of Canada is determined by many factors. The amount of time spent in Canada is not the only factor considered. Other factors include
A person who is a resident of Canada, and moves to another country, could still be considered to be a resident of Canada for tax purposes. If you left Canada in the year to travel or live abroad, see the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) information Individuals - Leaving or entering Canada and non-residents.
For newcomers to Canada, you have to report your world income for the part of the year that you were a resident of Canada. Some personal tax credits will be prorated based on the day you immigrated to Canada.
If you are a non-resident of or newcomer to Canada, see the following information on the CRA web site:
A person who is not a resident of Canada for any part of the year, and visits Canada for less than 183 days in a year, will pay Canadian income tax only on income earned from Canadian sources.
A person who is not a resident of Canada for any part of the year, but who visits Canada for a total of 183 days or more in a year, may be deemed to be a resident of Canada, and subject to Canadian income tax on their world wide income for the entire year.
Non-residents and deemed residents may or may not have to file a Canadian tax return. Much Canadian source income will have had Canadian tax withheld when it was paid, and in many cases there is no requirement to file a Canadian tax return. The most common types of income earned in Canada which are required to be reported on a Canadian tax return are:
When a non-resident or deemed resident files a Canadian tax return, they are taxed at the current federal tax rates, plus a surtax of 48% of the federal tax, unless income was earned from a business with a permanent establishment in Canada. In this case, provincial or territorial tax is paid on that income.
Deemed residents can claim the federal basic personal tax credit plus other applicable tax credits. For non-residents, the amount of non-refundable tax credits allowed depends upon whether Canadian-source income is 90% or more of total world income for the year.
See also our article on Non-Resident Workers in Canada.
For more information, see the CRA Income Tax and Benefit Package for non-residents and deemed residents of Canada.
When a non-resident disposes of certain taxable Canadian property, such as real estate, there are certain procedures to be followed, which include paying a tax of 25% of the gain on the property. If this tax is not paid, the purchaser of the property will be liable for the tax, and thus may withhold 25% (50% in some cases) of the selling price of the property. See disposing of certain types of property in the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) guide T4058 Non-Residents and Income Tax for more information.
If a tax treaty exists between Canada and your country of residence, the terms of the treaty may reduce or eliminate the tax on some types of income. You may be a deemed non-resident of Canada for tax purposes if you were a resident of Canada in the year, and, under a tax treaty, you were considered to be a resident of another country. In this case, you will be treated as a non-resident for tax purposes.
Canadian payers must withhold tax on payments of certain types of income to non-residents. The tax withheld is usually considered your final obligation to Canada for taxes on the income. However, for certain types of income, you have the option of filing a Canadian income tax return. This may allow you to receive a refund of some or all of the non-resident tax withheld.
The most common types of income which are subject to non-resident withholding tax are:
If you have received any of the above types of income, you may be able to recover some of your withholding tax by filing a Canadian tax return. This is called an Elective Return. For more information, see:
A person who is a resident of Canada for any part of the year is subject to Canadian income tax on their world wide income during the time that they are a resident of Canada. During the time that they are not a resident of Canada, they will pay Canadian income tax only on income earned from Canadian sources.
See also Non-taxable Amounts.
Canada Revenue Agency Resources
Revised: March 29, 2015
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